Nikolic: In the second half we saw everything

Nikolic: In the second half we saw everything

Lokomotiv’s head coach Marko Nikolic shares his impressions from the game against Orenburg (1:0).

- It’s the first time in my life that I’m talking to a press conference on-line. I have good impressions from the match. In the first half we played well, controlled the run of play, created chances, and used good pressing. In the second half we saw everything one can see on the pitch. We started it one man down, then the lineups equalized, then we had advantage. Then a canceled penalty, then a wasted penalty kick. And other opportunities we failed to capitalize on. To avoid wordiness - I congratulate the players and the fans on this victory. Three points are very important. 

- You made the only substitution in the injury time. Does it mean you will stick to this lineup or are changes possible?

- I am not ready to make a substitution for its own sake. I felt that the players on the pitch worked well. But this doesn’t mean that there will be no substitutions in the future games. The coach determines the lineup and the result shows whether he was right. Now we lach several players who  have to return soon. I think that soon I will have more players to count on.

- Miranchuk had to take a penalty kick in the first episode, Eder had a go in the second one. Who is an assigned penalty taker at the team?

- We had two people who had to take penalty kicks in this game - Miranchuk and Eder. They decided among themselves that Eder would do it. This turned out to be a wrong decision. In the post-match flash interview I joked that after the miss my heart nearly stopped. In the following games I will make decisions about who does it. 

- The fans glorified Syomin from the stands, and insulted you and the management.

- It’s normal, no problem. I am a coach and I’m driven by the result. Syomin is Lokomotiv’s greatest legend. The fans make their position visible and audible. It’s important that they are not silent. I want to thank them for coming over and supporting the team.

- A part of the fans left the stands after the 20th minute. How are you going to build relationships? 

- It seemed to me that there are no bad relationships between the team  and the fans. I repeat - there is nothing strange in their love for Syomin. I didn’t hear a single insult towards myself. I need time to make the fans like me. I need to prove this right with my work and the result. I know how to do it. The fans want to see the coach who respects them and fights for the club’s honor. 

- What’s your perspective on the performances of Barinov and Joao Mario? 

- Barinov was tasked with tactical goals. I liked his play - he’s a fighter who did a big amount of work. Joao Mario played a second forward. I think that’s the best role for him.

- What did Miskic tell you after being sent off that you hugged him?

- I know him since Slovenia. We discussed the rule when they can cancel a penalty but leave the ejection in place. NOthing special - just a talk of two old pals. After the game I spoke with Ricardo Alves - he;s not only a talented player but also a nice person.

- Zhemaletdinov will not play in the next fixture. Who will substitute him? Is Anton Miranchuk ready to play?

- I have a couple of ideas. Zhemaletdinov is a talented player and the ejection is a nasty episode but a good lesson for him. Anton joined the team in the middle of the week. He’s going to need time to get 100% ready. It’s one of the key players in the team. 

21 June 2020 20:58

Tags: first team nikolic marko

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